Expense claims, Working From HomePrint

If you are self-employed and spend time working from home expenses you can claim tax relief on your home working expenses. There are different methods of making a claim. Which method is best depends on your individual circumstances.

You may claim either:

  • A fixed rate as approved by HMRC
  • A proportion of all your variable costs, such as lighting, heating and telephone
In both cases, a separate deduction can also be claimed for a proportion of fixed costs such as council tax, insurance and mortgage interest.

Claiming HMRC's fixed rate

If you only spend a few hours a week working from home then a fixed rate expense claim may be most suitable for you as you are not required to keep detailed records of receipts.

In order to work out which rate to use you need to note how many hours you are working per month.

Hours working per month Amount per month
25 to 50 £10
51 to 100 £18
101 or more £26

Claiming a proportion of your actual costs

If you spend the majority of time working from home your expenses, particularly on items such as lighting and heating may be very high. In cases like these you may find that it is more beneficial to claim a proportion of your actual running and fixed costs. To enable you to do this you will need to keep detailed records so that you are able to:

  • Calculate much of the house is used for business
  • Record how much you are spending on electricity, gas, etc.
  • Record how much time you spend doing business in the area set aside for that purpose.

With this information you can then claim a portion of household costs.

Changing between claims

You are able to change between the different methods year on year. Your accountant will be able to assist you in working out which claim will suit you. Additionally It may also be possible to go back and change a claim made in the previous year's tax return if you subsequently decide that you have it would have been more beneficial to do so. 

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The information contained in this article is intended to provide only a general outline of the subjects covered. It should neither be regarded as comprehensive nor sufficient for making decisions, nor should it be used in place of professional advice. The author and the publisher disclaim all responsibility for any loss arising from any action taken or not taken by anyone using the information in this document